“What’s Your Number?”, a Book Aimed at Sharing the Stories Behind Retired Numbers
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Posted by: Sara Wheatcroft
Do you know anyone who’s had their high school number retired?
Does your high school have retired numbers?
Do you ever wonder why?
If so, “What’s Your Number?” has all the answers. The book, the second from Arizona native and 30-year high school football and baseball official Scott Hanson, tells the fascinating stories behind every retired number at high schools across the state.
“What’s Your Number?” is the result of more than a year of research and interviews with Arizona’s high school athletic directors, administrators, alumni, librarians, local historians, long-time school employees, relatives of those honored, the honorees themselves and others who may have known the people whose numbers have been retired.
“It’s a natural follow-up to my first book, ‘Who Is Gym?’ which was released in 2015 after three years of research to uncover the stories behind Arizona’s high schools and their sports venues,” said Hanson. “The idea for ‘What’s Your Number’ actually began in much the same way as ‘Who Is Gym?’ – while officiating.”
With “Who Is Gym?” Hanson was at Cactus High School with his football crew preparing to officiate the school’s varsity football game in 2012. The field was named M.L. Huber Stadium. Not familiar with Huber, Hanson asked a couple people at the school who he was. To his surprise, they didn’t know who Huber was either. Then a week later, his football crew was at Independence High School and he asked about the story behind their Tolmachoff Stadium. He got the same answer. It was then that he was motivated to action.
“Then two years ago, just after ‘Who Is Gym?’ was published, I was umpiring at Paradise Valley High School, which has a long history of baseball success,” said Hanson. “Just after the national anthem, my umpire partner Stan ‘The Man’ Hoover pointed to the right field fence and said ‘that’s your next book.’”
Hoover was motioning to the retired jersey numbers that adored the fence, and by the third inning, Hanson had already asked the coach about the stories and people behind those retired numbers. That began the formal research.
“This book shines a light on Arizona’s most legendary high school athletes, as well as those we lost too soon and those who inspired others to greatness,” said Hanson. “To date, only 186 individuals have retired numbers at Arizona High Schools.”
Among them are:
- MLB and Arizona Diamondbacks legend Curt Schilling, whose number 19 is retired at Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix;
- MLB All-Star catcher Paul Konerko, whose number 9 is retired at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz.;
- MLB All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca, whose number 16 is retired at Apollo High School in Glendale, Ariz.;
- NBA and former Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye, whose number 44 is retired at St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix;
- NFL MVP Mark Gastineau, whose number 99 is retired at Round Valley School in Eager, Ariz.;
- NFL Pro Football Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel, whose number 88 is retired at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Ariz.;
- Olympic Bronze Medal sprinter and 11-year NFL kick-returner Michael Bates, whose number 25 is no longer issued at Amphitheater High School in Tucson, Ariz.
Hanson also includes athletes like Olympic gold medal swimmer Misty Hyman, whose swim suit and swim cap are retired at Shadow Mountain, and famed long distance runner Jeff Cannada, whose track shoes were retired and his name emblazoned on the track at Greenway High School in Phoenix.
Longtime Arizona sportscaster and high school sports advocate Kevin McCabe wrote the book’s foreword. Stan “The Man” Hoover, a retired Phoenix Police lieutenant and Hanson’s baseball umpire partner, penned book’s the introduction.
“What’s Your Number?” is available for purchase now for $19.95, plus shipping and handling. For more information – or to purchase your copy today – please visit www.scotthansonauthor.com.
About the Author
In addition to his role officiating high school sports across the state, Scott Hanson is the president of HMA Public Relations, a 37-year-old marketing communications firm based in Phoenix. He’s a former Arizona sports broadcaster at both KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff and KPHO-TV in Phoenix. He is a graduate of Valley Leadership Class XX and serves as the professional advisor for Northern Arizona University’s Public Relations Student Society chapter. Hanson sat on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Arizona for nearly 10 years and served for more than a decade on the board for The Arthritis Foundation’s Greater Southwest Chapter. He also served on the board for the NAU School of Communication and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Phoenix Chapter. In 2012, Hanson was both inducted into the Rocky Mountain Emmy Silver Circle Society for his dedication to the broadcast community in the region and honored with the Public Relations Society of America Phoenix Chapter’s Percy Award for his dedication to the advancement of the public relations field across the state.
Hanson, an Arizona native, is an alumnus of Washington High School and Northern Arizona University, respectively.